Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Glynn Mall, It Rained Dogs, Cats; County Rolls out Adoption and Evacuation Unit despite the Weather for Inaugural Visit

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Glynn Mall, It Rained Dogs, Cats; County Rolls out Adoption and Evacuation Unit despite the Weather for Inaugural Visit

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, The Times-Union

BRUNSWICK -- Alec Diestel has himself a new dog and he found it at the mall.

The 4-year-old and his parents were among the first to adopt an animal Saturday from Glynn County Animal Services' Mobile Adoption and Evacuation Unit, which made its inaugural trip to Colonial Mall Glynn Place.

The dog, tentatively named Sponge Bob, was eager to greet anyone who paid him any attention.

Alec's parents John and Regina Diestel said they thought it was time for a dog and they and Alec picked out the black-and-white, long-haired one.

"We're going to send him to obedience school," John Diestel said. "We want to keep him inside. It'll be safer for him."

Sponge Bob was among about 20 dogs and cats hauled to the animal shelter in a 24-foot trailer, which has 32 crates that can be divided to double the load to at least 64 animals.

The unit is the brainchild of Marcia Stewart, director of Glynn County Animal Services, as a way to get animals out in high traffic areas and to evacuate them should a hurricane bear down on Glynn County. Otherwise, the state mandates that all animals left behind be euthanized.

Cliff Woodman, the son of the late Glynn County Commissioner Henri Woodman, pulled the trailer to the mall with his truck. He had found the converted race car hauler at a discount price and fronted the money for it until funds could be raised to reimburse him.

Henri Woodman owned a pet store and, until her death in office late last year, was a staunch advocate for animals.

"I wish she could have seen it. I think she would have been pleased with it," Cliff Woodman said of his mother. "It turned out better than anyone expected."

His mother always thought getting animals out of the shelter made adoptions more likely, and she often took dogs and cats to her busy store where they could be seen, Cliff Woodman said. …

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